Ballistics and Explosions

Ballistics and explosions typically have objects of interest that are very small and extremely fast. Motion blur becomes more severe as the object speed increases and if the camera shutter time is longer than the motion of the event itself. This effect is further challenged as the magnification of the image increases. The camera exposure time is often a limiting factor in the visualization of such processes. The other way of reducing motion blur is the use of very short light pulses. This requires high-power illumination during that short pulse duration.

CAVILUX illumination lasers offer very short and high-power pulses that can significantly reduce the amount of motion blur. Both of these features – short pulses and high power – are contributing to sharp and good image quality. In addition to the motion blur, the thermal radiation effects of explosions create further challenges. The brightness of the explosion can be greatly suppressed with CAVILUX illumination lasers. This is due to the narrow bandwidth of the laser emission which enables the use of narrow band optical filters that only transmit the laser emission band and block essentially all radiation outside the pass band.


  • Explosion of a fire cracker at 40.000 fps
  • Visibility through the thermal radiation


  • Rifle bullet at 40.000 fps
  • No motion blur
  • Visibility of shockwave and impact
  • Clear imaging of small details in the process

Arc Ignition in Fuses

  • Electrical switch at 5.000 fps
  • Thermal radiation is blocked away
  • Clear visibility of the phenomenon

Rocket Combustion

  • Rocket firing captured at 1000 fps
  • Clear view to the rocket engine without disturbing thermal radiation

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